7 Ways You Can Repurpose Your Old Blog Posts to Get More Traffic

repurposing content

As a blogger, you’re in the business of sharing ideas.

You have to consistently come up with new ideas and turn those ideas into blog posts that dazzle your readers. And you want to keep those readers happy and engaged, so you work your butt off to publish new posts on a regular basis.

But if you’ve been blogging for a while, you should have a treasure trove of ideas buried deep in your archives. The longer it’s been since you started a blog, the deeper your archives go, and the more gems are buried there.

Most bloggers are so focused on delivering new ideas that they neglect to help their readers discover the old ones, and many of those oldies are still relevant today. Many of them just haven’t been discovered by your newer followers yet.

So why not dust them off, and put them front and center again? Why not repurpose those old gems for a brand-new audience?

Below, you’ll find some ways to do just that.

#1. Produce a Bunch of Spin-Offs


Back in the 90s, when I was a young teenager — you know, zit-infested, hormones raging and desperate to uncover the secret code with which to talk to girls — one of my favorite TV shows was Buffy the Vampire Slayer. (It was awesome.)

When Buffy ended its third season, the producers did something that allowed me to spend even more of my precious youth in my favorite fictional universe. They took one character and gave him his own show, Angel.

In other words, they took an idea from Buffy and created a new show around it. See where I’m going with this?

You can do the same with your list posts. You can take a single idea from one of them and expand it into a whole new post.

For example, let’s take Glen Long’s post, 20 Rules for Writing So Crystal Clear Even Your Dumbest Relative Will Understand.

The first three points in that post are:

  • You must clearly define your audience before writing.
  • You must be able to define the topic in one simple sentence, or it’s too complex or unfocused.
  • You must make a clear connection between the headline and the introduction.

Do you think these could make good topics for a blog post?

You’ll find that not all list points in a post will have enough substance to create a full article around. Sometimes they come up short — but other times you can still come up with a good post idea after some quick brainstorming.

For instance, I’m not sure if you can devote a full article to the third point in that list, but you could certainly devote a blog post to writing intros, or one about the necessity for your blog post to fulfill the promise in the headline.

And that’s not the only option you have for spinning off a post. Another way is to simply take a blog post and explore the topic from a different angle.

spin a single idea into a whole new post

For example, we could take Glen’s article about writing clearly and turn it into:

10 Blogging Mistakes That Leave Your Readers Dumbfounded

And then you just turn the points from the original article on their heads:

  • You’re writing without a clear picture of your audience.
  • Your topic is too unfocused.
  • You’re not connecting your introduction to your headline.

See how easy that is?

These spin-offs are a breeze to create, and you can then pitch them to other blogs as guest posts. Easy peasy.

#2. Showcase Your Masterpieces


Okay, you’re obviously an incredibly talented writer and — I know, I know — every post you write is a masterpiece.

But let’s be honest, every brilliant artist has pieces that stand out more than the rest.

DaVinci had his Mona Lisa, and Michelangelo (the artist, not to be confused with the ninja turtle) had his statue of David. Like them, you have stand-out pieces that are a notch or more better than the rest.

But once you’ve been publishing content for a while, some of your best posts will get buried in the archives.

Wouldn’t you want to put these front and center, so they’re easy to find for new visitors? When someone is new to your site, wouldn’t you want them to find your masterpieces first? I mean, that would make one helluva first impression, right?

So give them a little nudge in the right direction. Create a page dedicated to showcasing your best work.

See Smart Blogger’s Start Here page linked in the menu bar? You can find 30 pieces of this blog’s cornerstone content all compiled in one place, so they’re easy to find. You can spend days reading up on these alone.

Another good example is Fizzle’s Best of page, which similarly lists all its most popular content.

Note also how these pages don’t just give visitors a long list of links. Nope, the page segments the links into separate lists in a number of categories. This doesn’t just look nicer — it also makes it easier for readers to find the posts that will interest them most.

Creating a “start here” or “best of” page puts your best posts in an easy-to-find spot, so your readers can spend hours devouring them one by one.

#3. Put Your Old Posts in a New Jacket


This may come as a huge shock, but did you know a huge number of people just don’t like reading that much?

They might make time to read a bite-sized Buzzfeed post now and then, but if you presented them with Harry Potter or The Lord of the Rings, they’d ask you for the audiobook or let you know they’ve already seen the movie.

What that means is there’s a huge number of people who might not be that into your written content, but would love it if they could listen to it or watch it. That means there’s a big audience out there that you’re probably not tapping into yet.

You can reach that audience by presenting your old blog posts in a new format.

You can use content from a pre-existing blog post and turn it into a podcast, video, infographic or slideshow. That not only allows you to give your old content a fresh spin, but you can publish it on various websites with a link back to your site, delivering thousands more eyeballs to your content.

turn a pre-existing blog post into a podcast

Now, I get it. The prospect of dabbling with video or audio is daunting — I hate listening to my recorded voice. Ugh!

But no worries if this seems miles out of your comfort zone because you don’t have to do it all yourself. You can hire people to repurpose your blog posts for you.

For instance, you can hire a voice actor on Fiverr to narrate your blog post, and boom — you have your podcast episode. Likewise, you can find someone on Fiverr to turn your post into a PowerPoint presentation, and boom — you have your slide show. Then you can combine the audio of your podcast with your slides, and boom — you have your video.

And you can then publish these variations of your content on various platforms dedicated to hosting people’s infographics, videos, podcasts, and slideshows.

The following are just a quick bunch of examples:

And on top of these platforms, you can also get other bloggers to feature your infographics or videos on their websites.

All of this combined can you get you a ton of new exposure, and you can reach a whole new audience who prefer watching videos or listening to audio over reading blogs.

#4. Pass Your Posts Around


Another way to get a surge of traffic from old blog posts is to simply republish them on other blogging platforms with a bigger audience than yours.

Whoa, hey now, wait a minute! Won’t Google slap you with a duplicate content penalty for that?

Nope, that’s just a particularly popular myth in the blogging world. Matt Cutts himself has verified that there is no penalty for duplicate content unless it’s particularly spammy or keyword-stuffed.

So, in other words, don’t worry about it.

But still, even if there’s no penalty, don’t all the big blogs ask for original content only?

Well, not exactly. One popular venue for republishing content is Medium. If you’ve already read our guide to publishing on Medium, you know it can be an incredible source of traffic. Just take Benjamin Hardy, who went from zero to 50,000 subscribers by republishing on Medium.

But Medium is certainly not the only site that allows republished content.

Other sites that do include:

  • Business Insider
  • Entrepreneur
  • Fast Company
  • Vox
  • Mashable
  • LifeHacker
  • The Good Men Project
  • Elephant Journal

See? You don’t need to create original content to get featured on large publications. Some of them will take articles that you’ve already published on your blog. They tend to be picky, but you’d be a fool not to give it a shot.

#5. Give Your Posts a New Lick of Paint


When you’ve been driving your car for a while, and the paint job starts to suffer, do you take it to the junkyard and buy a new one?

I think not. You just give it a new paint job and keep driving it.

Likewise, you can re-use many of the posts in your archive after giving them a little paint job.

give your old content a paint job

Take Backlinko’s Brian Dean, who once received an email from a reader who used his techniques to rise to the #1 spot in Google. Brian could have created a brand-spankin’ new post to share this reader’s case study, but instead, he chose to add it to an existing post.

He not only added the case study, but he updated the images and added a few additional tips. The result — after re-promoting the post — was a 111.37% increase in traffic to that page.

You don’t always need to create brand-new content to meet your publication quota. Sometimes you can grab an old post and give it a new lick of paint. Change the publication date, and it will appear on your front page once more.

And you don’t need a case study to add to your page, either. You can refresh it many other ways.

For example, you could:

Sometimes a post won’t even need an update (though you should always check before re-posting it). Sometimes you have a classic post that’s still highly relevant today and you can re-post it without changing anything.

Because if your blog has grown from 500 to 5,000 subscribers since you first published that post, that’s 4,500 subscribers who may never have seen it and may still love to read it.

That’s an easy way to lighten your workload for a week.

#6. Draw the Kindle Crowd


Many bloggers publish ebooks on Kindle to make some sweet passive income, but publishing on Kindle can also be a great source of traffic. Some Kindle readers are just waiting for you to lure them to your site.

And if you have several posts on a specific topic, you have enough (or close to enough) material for an ebook.

Honestly, you don’t need as much material as you might think — just 10,000 words is plenty for an ebook, which should be about 4-6 posts. You’ll need to connect the chapters, add an introduction and conclusion, and possibly rewrite some parts, but with those 4-6 posts, you have most of your book already written.

But before you get ahead of yourself and publish your book all willy-nilly, you should do some prep work to ensure your launch is a success.

Here are some quick tips:

    • Assemble a support team: Ask your subscribers whether they want to join your team and get a free copy of your new book. Ask them to read the book and provide feedback. If necessary, edit your book to include any changes your team suggests.
    • Publish your ebook on Kindle and set the price to $0: You want to set the price to $0 so your team won’t have to pay to download the book.
    • Ask your team for reviews: Make sure you ask them to download the book before they leave their review. This is critical because when they don’t, their reviews won’t be tagged as verified.
    • Promote your book: When you have a good number of reviews (20 is enough, but the more, the merrier), promote your ebook using promoters of free Kindle books like Book Marketing Tools, Freebooksy, and Bknights on Fiverr. These come with a price tag, but they can send thousands of readers your way.
    • Create content upgrades: The whole idea is to get your book readers back to your site, right? So, incentivize them to do so by linking to a landing page that offers supplemental material in exchange for their email. Think cheat sheets, checklists, resource lists, worksheets, templates, swipe files, or any other kind of bonus content. (If you have an upsell where you can make money, of course, direct them there as well.)

Once your promotion closes, you might raise the price of your ebook and boost your income, or you can leave it free and keep using it to draw traffic to your site.

In any case, during your promotion, you can expect a surge of traffic.

(Note: Amazon does have a minimum price of $0.99 for Kindle ebooks, so you’ll need to enroll in KDP Select to run a free promotion. To keep your ebook permanently free, you need a little more of a workaround.)

#7. Set up a Throwback Sequence


A few years ago, I got the opportunity to work on the Spanish island of Mallorca for six months. Having grown up in the always-rainy Netherlands, I grabbed this opportunity so hard, that I made it cry crocodile tears.

The problem? I had a year-and-a-half-old blog with a growing audience. I could spend all my time in Mallorca working, or I could choose to abandon it for a little while.

Forgive me, but I chose the latter. I sent my existing subscribers a note that I wouldn’t be around for a while. I figured I’d lose a few along the way, but it was worth the risk. At the same time, though, I didn’t want my first impression on new readers (who subscribed while I was gone) to be, “Hey, see you in six months!”

So I set up an autoresponder that would periodically send them one of my older blog posts. That way, by the time I got back, they’d have received word from me on a steady basis.

And when I got back, I realized this wasn’t a half-bad idea. I realized this was a hands-off way to consistently send traffic to my older content. Once you’ve installed your autoresponder, it will promote your posts on autopilot.

So I just kept it running. To this day, every new subscriber receives a link to an old blog post every so often.

I like to call this a throwback sequence.

We all know how effective email marketing is, so why not use it to promote your older posts as well? You can set it to trigger at sign-up and install it to send a monthly or bi-weekly email.

Your only job it to update it on occasion. Since the throwback sequence can run for a year (or years), you can just keep adding posts as you publish them.

Just ensure that when you add a new post, you add a provision for it not to send to subscribers who signed up before its publication date, or it will send your posts to subscribers who have already read it.

Keep Your Classics Alive


Imagine if you had never heard musical classics like Bohemian Rhapsody, Thriller or Hotel California simply because you weren’t around when they were first released.

That would suck, right? Because they’re amazing songs that sound just as epic today as they did back then. They don’t stop being valuable just because they’re not brand new.

And it’s the same for your blog posts. Many of those you debuted months or even years ago are still valuable today, so give them the attention they deserve. Help new audiences uncover the treasure trove of ideas buried in your archives.

Update and re-post them. Write some spin-offs. Set up a throwback sequence. Step out of your comfort zone and put them in a new format. Whatever you do, don’t let them disappear into obscurity.

Keep playing those golden oldies. Because people out there still want to hear them.

About the Author: Robert van Tongeren is the Associate Editor of Smart Blogger who helps our writers get their posts in tip-top shape. When he’s off-duty, he also runs a blog that helps guys dress a little sharper at Restart Your Style. And in his spare time, he loves to travel, watch Game of Thrones and is official BFF’s with his 6-year-old niece (she made him a certificate.) You can find him on Twitter.

89 thoughts on “7 Ways You Can Repurpose Your Old Blog Posts to Get More Traffic”

  1. Hey Robert

    Great post and something I think is well overlooked.

    I actually do this by taking old expert roundup posts, getting more tips for them and then re-publish. It’s a new audience for the older content (If it’s still relevant) and it’s fresh for your loyal readers.

    Thanks for the other ideas 🙂

    Cheers
    Joe

    1. Great guide on improving website traffic.

      Traffic is one of the things that most start up faced.

      I have recently repurposed my old post for infographics and videos. I’ll try the additional strategies mentioned.

  2. Hey Robert – congrats on the new role!

    I’ve recently started taking repurposing to heart, and have been following #3. I recently finished up 8 episodes in a new video series that is a repackaging of old posts. Still a lot of work as you mention, but am super excited about reaching a new audience. 🙂

    Looking forward to trying out a couple of others on this ist as well.

    1. Thanks, Sonia! Super-cool that you’re making your way into the videosphere. I remember reading some of your posts in the Guestblogging course and always loved them. So I’m sure your videos will be top-notch too 🙂

  3. Hey Robert,

    Firstly, congratulations! As I’m sure you know, Glen’s left some big shoes you have to fill. But based on this post of yours I think you’re up to the challenge. 🙂

    Off to tweet. Thanks for the great tips and suggestions.

    – Kevin

  4. Hell yeah! Congrats to you Robert! Looking forward to reading more posts from you, my man.

    Write on!

  5. Something I already had in mind to do and you gave me some fresh ideas on how to do so!
    I especially like the throwback sequence idea and putting your old posts in a new jacket because you don’t have to change a thing to the original content.
    I am now encouraged to pitch some old posts as guest posts because I was a bit doubtful of it at first.

    Thanks for the words of advice!

  6. Curious, Robert…how do you set your Kindle price to zero? The last time I checked, Amazon required you set a minimum of .99 cents for an ebook.

    Thanks though, for the great ideas on re-purposing content. Definitely going to use some of these!

    1. Thanks for this question, Anita. I personally upped the price after the initial period, so I never ran into that problem, but apparently you need a workaround to make your book free permanently.

      You have to offer it elsewhere for free, and they’ll have to pricematch it. Check out a guide here on how to do so here. I’ll add a note about this in the article 🙂

  7. This post is timely for me. I’ve been thinking about how to share some of my older content with newer readers. Your ideas here are so helpful. And, who knows, maybe I’ll even get brave enough to venture into the audio- and videosphere.

    Thanks for this!

  8. Hi Robert, first and foremost congrats on the new role.

    Secondly I’d say repurposing content is perfect strategy for attracting traffic and exposure. I learned this strategy from Brian Dean and its so interesting.

    Thanks for digging deep Robert.

    Cheers
    Bill

  9. There are some great ideas here that I hadn’t thought of, thanks Robert. I have already tried repurposing blog posts as audio, hosted on SoundCloud, and I have made free PDF ebooks, but the Kindle idea sounds better! I blog about how to record and sell audio downloads, and now I am trying to decide what new audios I can create for my readers! (If that makes sense!)

  10. Hi Robert,
    Congrats on the new role. I’ve got a lot of work to do when it comes to republishing especially on Medium.
    I must say I love your style of writing and I’m looking forward to seeing more of your posts.
    Off to share!

    Iyiola.

  11. Wow – congrats on your new position and this amazing post. It gave me some ideas.

    I’ve been doing some of these things a fair amount over the past few years, and recently added turning old promotional, teaching-based emails into blog posts, minus the offers.

    It takes a fair amount of reshaping, but works really well. It’s also doesn’t rule out revising popular blogposts and turning them into part of a promotion.

    Also, I would suggest that people think of Disney and the Marvel Universe when it comes to repurposing content. Those guys are absolute wizards at it and there are ideas and inspiration all over the place to be had.

    Thanks for the stimulating post! 🙂

    1. Thanks, man 🙂

      I would imagine you have a lot of buried treasure in your archives!

      And yeah. you’re absolutely right. What they’re doing is just repurposing content as well. From comic book, to cartoon, to movie, to toys, etc. Hmm… I wish I would’ve thought of that when I wrote the post. That woud’ve mad ea good hook 🙂

  12. Great post, Robert. I was just thinking about writing a post along the same lines. I can save myself the time now and just link to this article. 🙂

  13. Republishing the article is really bad for SEO. You will have duplicate content and your articles can be marked as spam.
    What I recommend is to write content that is related to your old articles and to give links to your older posts.
    But I really liked the idea about visualization the old content and creating videos, podcasts, and slideshows.
    Thank you!

    1. Thanks, Donna. Glad you enjoyed the article 🙂

      Regarding duplicate content, as I mentioned in the article, it really doesn’t affect your SEO, unless it’s particularly spammy or keyword-stuffed. The Google CEO said so himself. I’m sure he’s aware that there are people out there that will just scrape entire articles. Why would they punish the original author for that? It’s just a persistent myth.

      The only risk to it is that Google might choose to rank the republished article over the original one on your blog. See here for their official stance.

      1. First of all, thanks for your great post Robert.

        You said ‘The only risk to it is that Google might choose to rank the republished article over the original one on your blog.’

        Is this mean if somebody steals your posts, google might rank that stolen posts over the original ones? I’m shocking to know it.

      2. Good question, Jack. I wouldn’t worry too much about it. Google is generally smart enough to figure out where an article originated. The kind of sites that will scrape your content are usually very spammy. The risk is more when you republish it on an authority site. You can avoid the risk with a rel=canonical tag, and if not that, you can diminish the risk somewhat by adding a link to the republished article back to the original one.

  14. Hello Robert,

    I have been searching ways to improve my blog’s traffic and how can I make people read some of the best stories and articles that me and my team have published on our website. This post just gave me some of the most valuable lessons and I must say I feel a bit relieved right now.

    Congratulations for your new role! I am sure just like me, many other bloggers would be delighted to hear more tips and lessons from you. Looking forward to reading your next masterpiece.

    Thank You 🙂

  15. I’ve been doing some of these things a fair amount over the past few years, and recently added turning old promotional, teaching-based emails into blog posts, minus the offers.
    good.

  16. I don’t have any new idea, I’m looking around, and found this great post.
    Thanks for the idea, I’ll try to one or two of my old posts.

  17. Great tips and very actionable. It is definitely worth refreshing old content. After all, you already put the work in to create it the first time, so why not refresh it once in a while.

  18. Amazing post, Robert! This was the kick in the tush I needed to give some old posts a paint job. Congrats on your new role – so exciting and well-deserved! 🙂

  19. Hey Robert,

    The concept of repurposing the old content always strikes my mind. As you have mentioned, a new jacket always works at its best.

    I remember when I added more screenshots in a guide to start a blog which was worth time spending for.

    Getting the new ideas from your old posts can be lucrative. Just a couple of days ago, I was going through a tutorial about creating a multilingual WordPress website and that got me an insight for next two blog posts.

    Most of the people have the misconception about republishing the concept on the different platforms like Medium.

    I publish on Medium every day and it’s never been so effective as it now.

    A different platform means a new audience which can lead you to get more exposure.

    Though it’s quite hard to get accepted by the websites like Inc, Entrepreneur, Businessinsider but still if you can, you will have all the cream you always dreamed about.

    Thanks for this informative piece of the content.

    Enjoy your week ahead.
    ~Ravi

  20. Wow thank you, just the kick up the bum I needed, just did this to an ancient gluten free Battenburg recipe post, it’s gone mad, and to think it had been buried for so long, time to dust off some cobwebs I think!

  21. If you love writing about a particular topic, all you have to do is either hyperlink a word or phrase within the body of the content to an old post and add the rel=”nofollow” attribute to keep the old post relevant to people. Repurposing content is also good for reinforcing an image to your readers that you know what you’re talking about and dedicated to doing what you love to do: giving free information to empower others without expectation.

  22. Hey Robert,

    Thanks for these tips. Repurposing your content will breath your old content new life. One thing that i have done was add new images to old content from stock photos to buttons which made some spikes in traffic.

    Thanks for sharing and congrats on your new role!

  23. Mallorca? Um, yeah – can’t say I blame you for that decision, Robert! 😉

    Congrats to you and great post. Lots of laughs and valuable info here to bookmark. Many thanks.

  24. Generally republishing an article is a bad idea as far as SEO goes, but re-purposing an old blog post in to a podcast, video or in to slides seems like a fantastic idea… will give it a shot….great share Robert….. thanks a lot for sharing!

    1. Thanks Praveen. As I mentioned in the article, there’s a not a penalty for duplicate content. Google wouldn’t punish you for others scraping your content. But if you’re overly worried, then just republish the posts you didn’t write to target a keyword. Republishing is more effective for posts tht are targeted for social media, anyway 😉

  25. Hey Robert,

    Great article and I definitely learned a lot of tips. I have been hearing a lot about Medium and have heard other bloggers talking a lot about it. I think I may have to spend some time reading the guide on republishing on Medium.

    That’s the first I’ve heard about duplicate content. I’ve always heard that duplicate content is bad. Nice to know that it isn’t. Don’t know if I’d still feel comfortable reposting duplicate content elsewhere.

    I guess I just tend to get stuck with my old ways. You know how they used to preach that duplicate content is bad. However, if someone was able to go from 0 – 50,000 subscribers just by republishing on Medium, then I need to change my mindset 🙂

    My blog is still fairly new, so my blog archives don’t contain a lot of gems yet. However, once it does, you can bet that I’ll be using some of your tips here.

    Thanks for sharing these tips with us Robert. Now it’s virtually impossible to come up with writers block, there’s no excuse not to have fresh content on your blog 🙂

    Have a great day.

    – Susan

    1. Thanks Susan 🙂 You should definitely give medium a try!

      I know when you’ve heard a lot that republishing is bad, this idea will nest itself in your mind. But not all conventional wisdom is accurate. And if you’re still worried, Medium automaticall adds a canonical link when you import and post, which signals to Google what the original article is. See here.

  26. Hey Robert,

    It appears clear that content creators are turning to repurposed content to improve SEO, reach new customers and increase retention rates. We can adjust our content to reflect the medium it is going out from, ensuring that we add value to our readers.

    The process of repurposing can save our time and money and extend our initial content marketing investment, making it a worthwhile strategy. Eventually, thanks for revealing a light on this topic.

    With best wishes,

    Amar kumar

  27. As expected its all about the content. If someone can use the content in a website and it is well written then the website will do very well. No shortcut to ranking well and if you do try it then it will be risky

  28. Thank you for this post, Robert! I just went off on an hour tangent through all of the useful links lol, so it obviously does work! Running a 10-year-old blog, I have a mountain of useful posts buried deep within my site. Ironically, I just dredged up a lot of it yesterday for a ‘What Kind of Adventurer are You’ article! Thanks again for this handy information!

  29. Because I wrote mostly troubleshooting articles and tutorial, I updates the old post with current information or a better solutions. This way I give more useful information to my website’s readers.

  30. Thank for this amazing guide I ever read about repurposing a blog post.
    When I followed all of your instructions & modified my content of one of my blog posts, My blog post was shown in the google top schema format.

  31. Thanks for this post. Actually, it was what i was looking for. It is not possible for me to update my site on daily basis but i am scared that by not updating the site daily i will loose traffic to my website. But your post clears all my doubt and gave me a brilliant idea. Once again thanks for this post

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